Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Available candidates

Iranian politicians are beginning to put their names forward as candidates to be candidates for the presidential election. Which ones will be approved? Does it really make a difference? To whom?

Final decisions on who gets to be a candidate come in May.

Field of Iranian presidential candidates takes shape
Iran’s political landscape has become increasingly divided during controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s second and final term. But as a diverse array of candidates to replace him takes shape, nearly all the contenders seem united on one thing: attacking the president’s legacy.,,

In Iran… the biggest election issue is the sagging economy, and most among an emerging list of about 20 candidates argue that it has been harmed as much by Ahmadinejad’s tenure as by international sanctions…

Iran’s traditional conservative factions — known as principlists for their loyalty to the founding principles of the Islamic Republic — make up the largest number of expected candidates… Reformists… are lining up against the president.

The president and his voter ID
Among them is the lead nuclear negotiator under Khatami, Hassan Rowhani, who announced his candidacy on Thursday. The entrance of Rowhani, a cleric and one of the few moderate voices still prominent in Iran’s ruling system…

Three conservative former members of Ahmadinejad’s cabinet… are also running on anti-Ahmadinejad platforms….

A spirited election season with high voter turnout has always been the preference of Iran’s ruling clerics, who consider participation as proof of popular support for their system. But a major concern of principlist and ultra-conservative hardliners is that a high turnout might favor their adversaries…

With the principlists fielding the most candidates so far, there is a growing possibility that they will split each other’s votes, opening an easier path to victory for either a reformist or one of Ahmadinejad’s allies…

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani appears to rule out candidacy for Iranian election
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the embattled former president of Iran, has finally spoken openly about the rift between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a meeting with former state governors from the reformist and moderate camps, Rafsanjani is reported to have put to rest any speculation that he might declare his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, saying that he did not foresee a situation in which he and Khamenei could work together...

At the meeting with the ex-governors, Rafsanjani is reported to have said "the leader no longer trusts me, though I acted as a brother toward him"...

Rafsanjani also reportedly lashed out at the Revolutionary Guards during the meeting, criticising the military organisation's vast economic and political influence. The Guards became a significant economic force during Rafsanjani's presidential tenure, when he exerted great sway over them. He apparently underplayed this point in his talk, saying that during his presidency the extent of the Guards' activity was limited to its engineering corps and projects such as national road building. "Now," he said, "they control the economy as well as domestic and foreign policy and they will not be satisfied with anything short of the entire country."...

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